Man holding up his hand and not wanting to know his defects of character

What Are Defects of Character in Recovery?

Trying to overcome addiction without a plan can set you up for failure. The 12-step program used by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) provides the structure needed to give you a sense of direction as you navigate recovery. But you do not have to go through it on your own. Finding an addiction treatment center that offers 12-step-based treatment provides the support of a care team, your peers in recovery, and your loved ones. With this support, you can move through the 12 steps more quickly and come face to face with defects of character that may stand in the way of lasting recovery.

At My 5 Palms, we know that defects of character and recovery success are closely related. Our 12-step-based treatment includes an evidence-based individual therapy program where you will have guidance from qualified therapists. They can help you create a moral inventory, identify character defects, and devise a plan to improve and work on your flaws. Call us at 1.844.675.1022 today to learn about 12-step-based treatment and schedule an intake assessment.

What Are Defects of Character?

Defects of character are personal flaws that result in a person engaging in unfavorable behaviors. Some examples of such character defects include:

  • Pettiness
  • Carelessness
  • Cruelty
  • Dishonesty
  • Irresponsibility
  • Recklessness
  • Selfishness
  • Vindictiveness

Some defects of character may be genetic, while others are caused by external factors—such as growing up in a dysfunctional home environment or having a social circle that revolves around heavy drinking or drug use.

The Connection Between Defects of Character and Recovery from Addiction

Nobody is perfect, and everyone can create a list of their character defects—whether or not they struggle with drug or alcohol addiction. Examining your flaws is part of creating a moral inventory. This is the fourth step in the 12-step program used by AA. Here is how that fourth step works:

  • You list important people, places, and situations in your life.
  • You write down all the wrongdoings you can recall for each person, place, or thing.
  • You consider the thoughts or beliefs that contributed to your wrongdoings for each item on the list.
  • You examine the character defects involved in your thoughts, beliefs, and actions, then write them down.

The purpose of this exercise is not to say that people with addiction have character flaws while others do not. Instead, it emphasizes the importance of admitting to one’s character defects and taking measures to correct them. This is a powerful step toward helping you heal from addiction.

How Can You Address Character Defects?

What happens after you identify character defects? The moral inventory exercise is only effective if you move on to the next steps in the 12-step program. After writing out your moral inventory, you will need to:

  • Admit your wrongdoings to a higher power and another person.
  • Be open to a higher power helping correct your character defects.
  • Ask a Higher Power to help you overcome your defects of character.
  • If you have not already, make a list of your wrongdoings, and be open to making amends for them.

Once you have done all this, it is time to start making things right. If one of your character defects is lying to others, you can begin to make amends by apologizing to the people you have been dishonest with. However, according to the 12-step program, you should refrain from contacting someone you hurt if it could harm them. For more advice on the step, reach out to a 12-step-based treatment program.

Find 12-Step-Based Treatment for Addiction in Florida at My 5 Palms

A strong support system is crucial for a healthy recovery. When you enroll in addiction treatment at My 5 Palms, you will benefit from 12-step-based treatment in a welcoming, supportive environment. Get the help you need to work through the 12 steps of recovery by filling out our online form or contacting My 5 Palms today at 1.844.675.1022.

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